Editor’s note: Last week Peter over at 412 Lax kicked off our new Lax All Stars Fireside Chat series. So far he’s interviewed Striker Danger’s Chris Davis, Princeton’s Alex Capretta and a boy named Bear. We continue the series interviewing Daniel Shields of Onondaga Community College. More to come later this week!
When I was in Perth playing lacrosse for the Wembley Lacrosse Club we had some great games with the Bayswater Lacrosse Club both at their fields and ours. They play tough, hard-nosed (dare I say blue collar) lacrosse and are a great bunch of guys who will treat you like one of their own and buy you some beers after the game has ended, where they had tried to break your neck at least once or twice. In fact, the last time I stumbled off a lacrosse field with my head spinning was in 2001 because of a moderately “high” and elbow-tastic hit from Daniel Shields’ cousin. Good times!
Daniel, along with his brother Matty, were the two biggest lax rats in the Bayswater Lacrosse Club and this love of the game has allowed Daniel to come over to the States and excel as a lacrosse player. For the past two years, Daniel played at Mercer Island HS in Washington state, where he was an All-American, for Coach Ian O’Hearn, who was also down in Perth with me in 2001 after playing at Albany.
Daniel is now at Onondaga Community College in upstate NY and is pretty thrilled to keep his US lacrosse career going. In two years, when he is done at OCC, some college coach is going to get a pretty big gift in Shields, they might just not know it yet.
LAS: What were the biggest differences between lax in Perth, Australia and Washington State?
DS: The game in Washington state was a lot different to what I was used to back in Perth. The skill level was higher, everyone could play, the game is a lot faster, and I noticed that there are not a whole lot of penalties in the States, they just like to let the game play.
What brought you stateside in the first place? And then what did you think of lacrosse, in general, in the USA?
I came as an exchange student to see the world. I didn’t really know much about the States or what lacrosse was like out here so Idecided that I would come on over. At first I didnt really know what to expect about lacrosse or the States in general. But once I was here it was a good time. Most of the kids were on the same page and were good players. Right away I knew that it was going to be a good, fun year.
Is it true what they say about the Seattle area? All rain all the time? Must have been a shock to a guy used to 90 degree days and lots of sun!
Haha, yeah thats mostly true. You don’t see a lot of sun up there, always overcast and most of the time it is raining, but when the sun is out and its not overcast its a beautiful area. You just gotta get through the depressing part of the year first. Haha.
How did you hear about Onondaga CC? What interested you most about the school?
Well, I knew I didn’t really have the grades to go anywhere other than a JuCo and my high school coach was from Albany and he was thinking about Herkimer CC, but towards the end of my season Coach Wilbur from OCC called me. It was either school or home so I obviously chose OCC. I went in knowing little about the college, but obviously the great lacrosse at OCC really drew me to the school.
Do you plan on playing at the NCAA level after JuCo?
If that is possible for me then I would love to. Just gotta take it as it comes, but yes, if I can then I definitely will.
What are your five favorite songs right now?
“The Second Coming” – Juelz Santana
“Hold My Hand” – Sean Paul
“Believe” – The Bravery
“Ready The Whatever” – T.I.
“What You Know” – T.I.
What kind of stick are you using? What is the string job like? Tape? Shaft?
Right now I’m using the new Warrior Evo 6x, regular 10 diamond dura mesh with one nylon and 2 laces mid-pocket, with a little bit of whip in it. I got the “little inch” hanging out the bottom of my shaft with the little nub and tape going about 1/3 up the shaft and then little tape strips in the middle of the shaft. I’m using the Warrior fat boy shaft; its like swinging a tree.
Who are your heroes in lacrosse? Who made you want to come stateside and play in college?
I don’t really have any heroes in lacrosse, but I’ve always loved to watch Mikey Powell and Kyle Harrison. My cousin made me want to come stateside, I remember back when you were playing with them Wembley goons in 2001 we used to joke about me playing lacrosse in the states. Sure enough, the chance came around and I couldn’t say no to it!
We’re glad you didn’t say no, Daniel, it’s great to have you over here!
So how was fall ball? Any good scrimmages? Have you picked up a sweet ass light blue helmet yet?
Are the Thomsons as good as everyone says?
Fall ball was pretty good, we went at it 3 days a week for about an hour and sometimes we met on saturdays. We had 3 scrimmages, 2 against some D3 schools and then the alumni game and we also had some inter-squad games. The team is shaping up nicely, should be a good, fun year and yeah, I got the helmet, no stickers yet but we got the helmet! Although I have not really played with the Thomsons, but I have seen them all play and I think they live up to their rep… they are pretty nasty.
Favorite Pro laxer? Why?
Chazz Woodson. That guy is nuts, super quick and great highlights to watch. He loves the air game.
Are you a fan of indoor/box lacrosse? Preference between the two? Why? (Indoor lacrosse refers to 7 on 7 mini field. Box Lacrosse refers to NLL style.)
Never really played either. I’m definitely trying to play box this year and i would pick box over indoor because I like to both get hit and give out hits. I like a rough game.
Spoken like a true-blue Aussie! Thanks for taking some time to speak with us, Daniel! We’ll be sure to check in again as the season gets closer and good luck to you and all your teammates at Onondaga CC this year!
This has been a Lax All Stars Fireside Chat. Stay tuned for more.